Chihuahua found in Desert Hot Springs with arrow through its neck expected to survive

A uniformed animal control officer holds a puppy with an arrow through its neck.
Riverside County Animal Services is investigating after a 4-month-old Chihuahua puppy was found with an arrow in its neck in the Coachella Valley. The female puppy was taken to an animal hospital Monday morning and is expected to survive.
(Riverside County Animal Services)

A 4-month-old Chihuahua shot with an arrow as nearly long as its body is expected to survive after Riverside County veterinarians removed the arrow from its neck. Veterinarians say the dog is barking and wagging its tail less than two days after having the arrow removed from her neck.

The unnamed dog was found in the 15500 block of Avenida Florencita in unincorporated Desert Hot Springs on Monday, according to Riverside County Animal Services. The dog was found by Riverside County sheriff’s deputies after a woman heard the injured dog crying and called 911 just before 7 a.m. Animal services said the arrow was caught in a fence and the dog could not get free. Deputies picked up the dog and handed it off to an Animal Services officer near the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.

Animal Services Officer Matthew Perez saw that an arrow punctured the tan Chihuahua’s neck and held the dog while he transported it to the animal hospital, where the arrow was removed. Perez held the female dog in his arms outside the facility before the hospital opened to make sure the dog did not try to run away or hurt itself. The arrow did not strike the puppy’s vital arteries.


“It was purely a superficial wound,” veterinary technician Ivan Herrera told The Times on Tuesday.

Once inside the facility, the dog appeared stoic and calm, Herrera said, and allowed the staff to give her aid. He was able to remove the pointed arrowhead from the shaft after the dog was sedated.

“Surprisingly, she did not give us any trouble considering she had an arrow stuck in her neck,” Herrera said.

The dog has since recovered and is acting like a healthy puppy.

“She’s lively, wagging her tail like a puppy and barking for our attention,” Herrera said.

“For someone to willfully shoot this poor pup with an arrow is disgusting,” Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said in a statement. “We are shocked, and we hope someone can provide us any information as to who did this. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to treat this puppy and work on finding her a suitable home.”

Veterinary technician Emily Ellison said, “It’s amazing to see her affection, despite what occurred. She is such a sweet puppy. I cannot imagine why anyone would do something so terrible to such an innocent creature. It’s very sick.”


Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Riverside County Animal Services at (951) 358-7387 or via email at

This incident is the second attack against an animal with a bow in recent weeks in Riverside County.

In April, a wild burro died during surgery after being shot with an arrow. It’s unclear whether the arrow that struck the Chihuahua is similar to the one that hit the burro.